Forgotten Fields

a film about the women deminers of Nagorno-Karabakh

Forgotten Fields is a documentary about the women who buck tradition to personally rid their country of dangerous land mines.


Fighting for the future of a country unrecognized by much of the world, a group of women spend their days in the minefields of Nagorno-Karabagh. They are clearing explosives left by a bloody war that began with the fall of the Soviet Union, and has continued to pour over the borders for 20 years. 

Forgotten Fields follows three women - Varduhi, Varditer, and Lilit - who have chosen to take a job as a deminer. They put themselves at risk to save the lives of countless people who use these lands to farm, collect wood, and rebuild homes, schools and hospitals. Each woman was brought to this work by a hardship that left them alone to fight for themselves and their families. Despite their courageous work, they still face the stigma of being independent, working women in a country where they are expected to be obedient to and controlled by the men around them. With them, we explore not only their dangerous work, but their lives as they wrestle with the pain of their pasts, their dreams for the future of their country, and the immense joy and bonds they share together, as a team.

This film is made possible in part thanks to the generous support of the Armenian General Benevolent Union and HALO Trust Nagorno Karabakh




The Filmmakers


Jesse Soursourian is a writer and director based in New York City. He wrote the script for the short film Hugh the Hunter, directed by Oscar nominee Zachary Heinzerling, and which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival as well as other festivals around the world. His feature screenplays have gained recognition from numerous festivals and contests including Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope, in which he was a quarterfinalist.  As a director, Jesse's short documentary, They Were Afraid of Us, screened at multiple festivals at home and abroad. 


Emily Mkrtichian and Alex Igidbashian are Armenian-American filmmakers whose films explore the themes of History, Memory, and Place through image. Collectively, their works have travelled to festivals all over the globe and been broadcast on major European channels. Their latest collaboration, Luys i Luso (Luys i Luso), is a multi-media installation recreating the musical pilgrimage of world-renown jazz musician Tigran Hamasyan through ancient architectures in Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. Forgotten Fields will be their first feature film.